Sunday, March 4, 2007

`Different' Malaysia down AIS


CONFIDENCE made all the difference at the National Hockey Stadium
yesterday when Malaysia scored two early goals against the Australian
Institute of Sport (AIS) side, which was enough to give them the win in
the rain-shortened match.
Except for M. Kaliswaran, K. Gobinathan and goalkeeper Roslan
Jamaluddin, there were no other changes to the lineup which went crashing
5-0 in the first friendly.
The match was called off 10 minutes into the second half because of
threatening conditions, but it was all Malaysia before that.
Coach Stephen van Huizen agreed that confidence and commitment won the
"Everything went well because they stuck to the gameplan which was hard
tackling and quick passes. In the first 20 minutes, the Australians were
hardly in the match. Maybe acclimatisation was a problem for them today
(yesterday) but even so, the national side showed what they are capable of
with a little push in the right direction," said van Huizen.
Nor Azlan Bakar and Chua Boon Huat were sturdy in defence which was
strengthened by Commonwealth Games keeper Roslan.
Malaysia won their first penalty corner in the seventh minute and S.
Kuhan flicked home a sweet goal.
The Aussies were pinned in their own half after that and a string of
attacks by Kaliswaran, Gobinathan and Suhaimi Ibrahim won them the second
penalty corner in the 11th minute.
Kuhan initiated a setpiece which saw Suhaimi deflect in for the second
AIS: Mark Hickman, Zain Wright, Eddie O'Brien, Bevan George, Gavis
Davis, Travis Brooks, Craig Victory, Ben Taylor, Jamie Dwyer, Jeremy
Hiskins, Jason Duff, Ian Wishart, Michael McCann, Mark Hickman, Tim
Thompson, Robert Hammond.
MALAYSIA: Norazlan Rahim, Chua Boon Huat, Jiwa Mohan, S. Shankar, S.
Kuhan, Nor Azlan Bakar, Chairil Anwar Aziz, Madzli Ikmar, K. Logan Raj,
Suhaimi Ibrahim, K. Gobinathan, K. Keevan Raj, Indra Hadi Jubir, Nasihin
Nubli, Izwan Suhardi, Roslan Jamaluddin.
Malaysia-AIS friendlies - Tomorrow (8.0); March 17 (6.0); March 18
(6.0). - all matches at the National Hockey Stadium.

And now for the men


THE bid to host 2002 World Cup hockey championship is over and now comes the more difficult part - prepare the Malaysian team to win honours.
Not that the Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF) and the National Sports
Council (NSC) have been sitting pretty all this while, only that a more
concerted effort must be made now if the nightmare of Utrecht is to be
Although a visiting consultant in Paul Lissek is fine, Malaysian hockey
now needs a permanent coach to plan and execute programmes to bring out the best in the current batch.
In the words of team manager R. Yogeswaran, "we need a brain" to whip up a good side.
"The current batch of players are young and will definitely make the
2002 squad if they have the right attitude towards training and personal
fitness. Now we need one man who has the power to call the shots."
Yogeswaran and Ho Koh Chye were the coaches who took the 1975 World Cup team to a fourth finishing on home soil. They now manage the national pool of 40 players while a group of coaches comprising Yahya Atan, Colin sta Maria, Stephen van Huizen and Wallace Tan train the players.
"The NSC and MHF must see the problem of a head coach as serious and
solve it as early as possible because we have a string of important
assignments ahead. The Junior World Cup Qualifier, the Olympic Qualifier and then the 2002 World Cup itself are not far off."
Then there is the problem of a team leader.
After Nor Saiful Zaini retired, the team have been without a capable
leader who can co-ordinate and execute game plans. S. Kuhan sometimes makes an effort but he has to be more serious and stake a claim.
"We also lack a powerful hitter who can strike fear in our opponents.
Someone like that is needed to convert half-chances into goals and only
Maninderjit Singh has shown promise."
The door is wide open for national call-ups as seen in the match against
the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) team yesterday. S. Shankar made
his debut in the senior ranks and was praised for his never-say-die
A host of other players also got a chance, never mind that it was only
for a few minutes.
"The coaches can only do so much. It is the commitment of the players
that matters most right now.
"If the coach is late for training because he had to attend a meeting,
the players must start training on their own."
Training facilities-wise, NSC and MHF have provided the best available.
Now it is up to the players to utilise them and bring glory to the nation.
Finishing 11th out of 12 in Utrecht will look like an achievement if we
fail at home.

RM16mil for services in Brunei


SUKOM Ninety Eight Bhd, organisers of last year's 16th Commonwealth Games, have submitted a RM16 million proposal to Brunei to help them hold the Sea Games in August.
Sports Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in Kuala Lumpur the Sukom initiative was a private effort.
However, the Malaysian government will send a second team comprising
officials from the National Sports Council, Olympic Council of Malaysia
and Sports Ministry to Brunei in two weeks' time.
"Brunei have sought assistance in the form of judges, technical and
match officials from Malaysia," said Muhyiddin.
"They have also requested for help to train their athletes for the
Games. We will help train their volunteers and assist them on broadcasting facilities.
"Since time is against us, we will only commit on matters which we can
handle and not take on too much."
The first government fact-finding team led by NSC director general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad were in Brunei last month.
Three days ago, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Brunei have made a official request to Malaysia to help them organise their first-ever Games.
The Malaysian Hockey Federation have selected Bank Simpanan National to spar with the visiting Brunei national side on March 16 and 22.
On MHF's grouse over steep rentals at the National Hockey Stadium in
Bukit Jalil, Muhyiddin said they are misinformed.
"The Azlan Shah Cup in April will cost MHF about RM650,000 to host and they have given us a breakdown of the expenditure. We found they did not have pitch rentals on the list. Later, they asked us to waive the rental for the stadium.
"We said `no'. This will set a precedent. If they can set aside so much
of money to organise the tournament, what is RM20,000 in pitch rentals?"

Saujana sign up Nachimuthu


THE Saujana Golf and Country Club yesterday inked a deal with R.
Nachimuthu as their third local touring professional.
Director of Saujana GCC Abu Bakar Nor welcomed Nachimuthu into the fold
with a reminder: "Stay among the top five on the MPGA Order of Merit and
this partnership will go a long way."
In January, Saujana signed Rashid Ismail, ranked seventh on the MPGA
Order Of Merit last year and Shaifubari Muda, ranked ninth, to a tune of
RM40,000 a year.
"Saujana are not their managers and we do not take a cut off their
winnings, all we want is to promote the sport in Malaysia by adopting pros
who have shown consistency over the years. If other sponsors want to come
in, they are welcome," said Abu Bakar.
Nachimuthu will also receive RM40,000 a year, enough to compete in all
the local tournaments. He has also been given the privilege of using
Saujana's greens as often as he wants.
Nachimuthu turned pro in January.
The former caddie from Kuala Kubu Baru GCC has been one of Malaysia's
best amateurs in recent years.
His best achievements were winning the Malaysian Amateur Open in 1997
and the Panasonic Open in 1996 and 1997.
He said that turning pro has not changed his outlook on the game at all.
"I still feel the same, maybe it is because I have been playing
alongside the same players for so long that I do not fear them. I hope to
play in international tournaments next year to get more exposure and
expand my style," said Nachimuthu.
On Lee Westwood, Abu Bakar said they have yet to renew their partnership
which expires at the end of the month.
"Both parties are happy with the relationship and want it to continue.
Only minor details need to be settled now that he has made a name in the
international arena. We would be glad to continue our partnership."
* SAUJANA touring professional R. Nachimuthu fired another sub-par round
to extend his lead to nine strokes at the Malaysia PGA Qualifying School
at Saujana GCC yesterday.
Playing on the Crocodile Course, Nachimuthu's two-under 70 took his two-
round total to 137.
He returned 35s on both nines with birdies on the sixth, ninth, 13th and
15th and his bogeys were on the first and 11th.
Leading 2nd rd scores: 137 R. Nachimuthu 67-70; 146 Samsuddin Dingkil
73-73; 147 Zalizan Mad Har 75-72, Zamri Shariff 74-73; 148 Lee Kwang Ju (S
Kor) 75-73, Tan Boon Seng 73-75, A. Durairaj 73-75; 149 K. Noriyama (Jpn)
76-73; 150 N. Sivakumar 76-74, Ariff Sarji 74-76; 151 T. Okura (Jpn) 76-
75; 152 Colin Field (Aus) 80-72, Yoshihiko Yamagata (Jpn) 80-72, K. Iida
(Jpn) 75-77.

AIS will help shape up Yoges' boys


THE national hockey team are still at a transitional stage and the match
against the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) team today at the
National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil will reveal many faults.
But team manager R. Yogeswaran sees it as a blessing in disguise.
"We will try out new combinations and a few Project 2001 players in the
five friendlies against the AIS team. The first three matches will be
uphill but there should be a shape in the final two friendlies," said
Yesterday, S. Kuhan was seen training penalty corner variations with
junior Norazlan Rahim. Kuhan wore the skipper's armband during the recent Five-Nation in Cairo and is expected to play a major role in getting the goals.
"We have tried out many penalty corner variations which will be put to
test against the AIS team. Norazlan is slowly gaining momentum with his
direct hits and will be the one to watch during the friendlies."
Old hands Mirnawan Nawawi and Maninderjit Singh have not been excluded from the friendlies although their fitness level is still not known. Right now they are in the midst of sitting for their university examinations.
"Mirnawan will be available tomorrow (today) while Maninderjit will
finish his examinations on March 17. So both of them will be available for
at least one match but we will not push them if they are not physically
"They have been keeping fit but the long hours buring the midnight oil
might affect their play.
We do not want to lose them to injuries by pushing them for the
friendlies," said Yogeswaran.
Coach Colin sta Maria will only know his team after a meeting in the
morning but since the choice of players is limited, he will try out a few
Project 2001 players.
K. Keevan Raj, K. Logan Raj, Shuhaimi Ibrahim, Chua Boon Huat, Madzli Ikmar, M. Jiwa and Syarim Uda Karim are some of the juniors who have been wearing two hats, travelling between the senior and Project 2001 squads and sta Maria will definitely use them to strengthen his senior squad against the AIS.
Malaysia-AIS matches series - Today squad (4.0); Tomorrow (5pm); March 15 (8.0); March 17 (6.0); March 18 (6.0). - all matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Muhyiddin: Tell us first


SPORTS Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday took a dig at sports associations who do not bother to inform his office of their intention to bid for international events.
Under the Sports Development Act, associations must get the Sports
Commissioner's approval before submitting their bids.
"The Ministry have no objections if the associations are financially
strong and able to garner support from sponsors," said Muhyiddin.
"What we are afraid of is that once the bid is won, a financially weak
association might find it difficult to organise the event."
In an apparent reference to the Malaysian Hockey Federation, who are
bidding for the 2002 World Cup, Muhyiddin said the associations should
abide by the Act.
He said National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Mazlan
Ahmad had been assigned to co-ordinate with the associations to ensure
that only viable bids are made.
"Mazlan will help draw a calendar of international events which are
worth bidding for so that we can can start preparations early and solve
problems that might arise if left unchecked.
"Hockey, squash, swimming, shooting and soccer have indicated interest
in certain international events. We hope they will let us know early so
that there will be no overlapping."
Muhyiddin, speaking after yesterday's post-Cabinet meeting, said he will
lead a delegation to Bangkok in April to find out the actual cost of
hosting the 2006 Asian Games. Thailand hosted the Games last December.
He said it was important for Malaysia to have some inkling of the costs
involved so as to prepare the bid accordingly.
He said though the Olympic Council of Asia have not requested for a
breakdown of the expenditure in the bid document, Malaysia have decided to do so.
"We want to show OCA that hosting the Games here would be cost-
Muhyiddin said the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia's request to give
them some grace period before they move out of the National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta has been approved.
"They want to sort out a few things. If they wish to retain their
premises at the NTC, they must pay rental to the Ministry."
LTAM were directed to vacate NTC by March 1 by the Ministry. The NTC
will now come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry.
On the Sepang F1 Circuit, he said the Cabinet has directed that the
facilities be fully utilised. A matter that the Ministry is looking into.

Alagendra confident it'll be ours


MALAYSIAN Hockey Federation deputy president Datuk Seri P. Alagendra, normally not one to jump the gun, has taken on a confident gait in recent weeks.
And that's because he is upbeat about Malaysia's bid to host the 2002
World Cup.
Alagendra, now in Brussels to tie up the loose ends on the bid, said
recently: "We would have not placed a bid if we were not sure of winning
it for Malaysia."
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) will meet in Brussels today to
select the hosts for the next men's and women's World Cup tournaments.
The host countries of other FIH tournaments will also be announced.
Malaysia, who last hosted the World Cup in 1975 when they finished
fourth, are clear favourites to get the 2002 tournament.
The last men's and women's World Cup Finals were held in Utrecht,
Holland, and FIH are believed to be keen on an Asian host for 2002.
Spain and Belgium are the only countries challenging Malaysia in the
The other Asian countries to have hosted the World Cup are Bombay,
India, in 1982 and Lahore, Pakistan in 1990.
Spain hosted the tournament in 1971 while Belgium are first-timers.
For the women World Cup, Australia are the frontrunners.
FIH have narrowed the bidding process to technical, marketing and media - areas in which Malaysia are clear winners, too.
Officials and facilities are second to none in Malaysia while RTM
impressed the world with their capabilities as host broadcasters for the
Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.
At Utrecht, approximately 179 hours of hockey was aired in more than 40
"We have inserted recommendation letters from the mayor of Kuala Lumpur, RTM, Sports Ministry and other back-up departments in the 84-page bid document to assure FIH we have what it takes to host one of the best World Cup tournaments ever," said Alagendra.
The 12,000-seater National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil will be a
factor in securing the bid for Malaysia.
The 2002 World Cup will see a change in format as FIH, on the
recommendation of the Global Competition Task Force, approved a new global competition format in late November.
The format will see more teams competing with increased opportunities
for lesser-developed hockey playing countries to compete at world level.
The men's and women's World Cups will continue to be played every four
years but with the number of teams increasing to 16 (from 12), the
qualification and competition format has also undergone a change.
Qualification for the World Cup is now based on hosts, defending
champions, Continental Cup Winners (five teams), Olympic Games (between two and four), World Cup qualifiers (seven teams).
Previously, the World Cup was played in two pools of six teams in a
round-robin format, following the classification matches. The new format will see:
* First round - four pools of four teams in a round-robin;
* Second round - four pools of four teams; two pools to comprise the top
two teams in each pool from the first round, and two pools to comprise the bottom two teams in each pool of the first round.
* Third round - cross pool classification matches, to be followed by
final placing matches (1-16).
* The duration of the World Cup will be 13 days and it should be
conducted on two identical fields of play.
Some FIH officials who were in KL for the Commonwealth Games went home impressed with the crowd support shown by Malaysians irrespective of whether Malaysia or foreign teams were on the pitch.

Sealey brings winds of change


THE National Sports Council (NSC) and Malaysian Amateur Basketball
Association (Maba) have yet to draw up his contract, but former NBA
professional Felton Sealey is not one to waste time on formalities.
A handshake with Maba secretary Yeoh Choo Hock was all he needed to
start training the national cagers to achieve a golden target at the
Brunei Sea Games in August.
"There is only a verbal contract and I work on a day-to-day basis right
now, but I was made to understand my services will be needed until the
2001 Sea Games, which Malaysia will host," said Sealey.
He arrived in Malaysia from Oregon on March 2 and in the words of Maba deputy secretary Tan See Wah: "He took off his winter boots and started training the boys."
Sealey is not one to dwell on past records, not even his coaching and
playing days.
"I work on the present and right now, my job is to fix the Malaysian
team, to fix their attitude, to fix their fitness. There is no point in
judging by past records," said Sealey.
He did not mince his words when he described the state of the Malaysian
"None of them are fit to play basketball at national or professional
level. It is a well known fact all over the world that a player must work
on his fitness and be ready for any call-up so that the coach does not
waste time and can go into the game plan straight away.
"None of them came prepared on fitness and I'll now have to spend some
time at the NSC gymnasium getting them into shape."
His seven-day schedule starts with shooting and skills training from 8am
to 10am. Three days have been reserved for weight training while in the
evenings, from 6pm to 8pm, it is time for team offence and defence.
Sealey ended his playing career in 1981 when he was drafted by the
Phoenix Suns of the NBA and his last assignment was to whip a respectable
Thailand side for last December's Asian Games. Thailand finished sixth in the 12-team competition.
Sealey, who has coached teams in the Philippines, Indonesia, Kuwait and
China, handed the national cagers a list of what he expects from them
during training.
The gist of it is that when the cagers enter Maba Stadium for training,
practice begins and they will be expected to work. Horsing around and
profanities are forbidden, not even in the locker room.

Project 2001 get going, almost


PROJECT 2001 ... 2
WAIS ........... 3
THE Project 2001 (Sea Games) team finally showed some maturity and
teamwork but it was not enough to bring them victory over a Western
Australian Institute of Sports (WAIS) team at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Malaysia scored first in the 15th minute but the Aussies came back from
behind twice to claim their third win in the four-match series.
"We still have a long way to go and many combinations to try out before
there is a shape (to the team)," said 2001 coach Colin sta Maria.
"Although they played the best match of the friendlies today
(yesterday), I am still not satisfied with the team."
Norazlan Rahim put the Project squad ahead with a superb penalty corner goal only to see Peter O'Sullivan equalise two minutes later.
The Project squad held firm in the first half and in the second half
took the lead again when defender Chua Boon Huat flicked home from a
penalty corner in the 60th minute.
The WAIS team responded with a series of attacks and they drew level in
the 65th minute when Laird Chromiak tapped in off a penalty corner.
A minuted later the Aussies took the lead when Russel Lee's penalty
flick was on target.
Malaysia won a penalty corner in the final minute, but the second umpire
blew for the end of regulation time.
There was some confusion as the WAIS team walked out of the pitch but
their coach, Mark Huges, instructed them to go back and defend the penalty corner.
Play continued but Chua missed clinching the equaliser from the

Ticket Express to market Azlan Shah


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have appointed Ticket Express to
sell tickets and arrange for sponsors to meet the cost of organising the
Azlan Shah Cup on April 2-10 in Kuala Lumpur.
Germany, South Korea, Pakistan, New Zealand and Canada will join
Malaysia for the tournament, to be played at the 12,000-seater National
Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Ticket Express sold RM38 million worth of tickets for the Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games last year.
MHF secretary S. Satgunam said they will decide on ticket prices soon.
South Korea and Pakistan, who will play in June's Champions Trophy, are
among the top three Asian teams. India, the Asian Games champions, were
not invited.
The Malaysian-Canada rivalry goes back to 1995 in Barcelona Olympic
qualifier when the Canadians were beaten by Malaysia.
When they last met at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in
September, Malaysia beat them again but it was an incident filled match on
and off the pitch.
The young Malaysian team did well to finish second behind Australia at
the Commonwealth Games in September but finished fifth behind India,
Korea, Pakistan and Japan at the December Asian Games in Bangkok.
Said Satgunam of the sponsorship deal, "Ticket Express have guaranteed
to get sponsorship to meet 75 per cent of the total cost of organising the
"It is a good deal."
MHF would also seek sponsorship to meet the balance of the estimated
RM650,000 needed to run the tournament.
"Over and above the sponsorship raised, Ticket Express will share with
us a certain percentage of ticket sales," said Satgunam.

Aussies too good for Project 2001 boys


PROJECT 2002 ... 1
WAIS ........... 5
THE Malaysian Project 2001 squad were made to eat humble pie again by the
visiting Western Australian Institute of Sports (WAIS) team at the
National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The Australians raced to an easy 5-1 win in a one-sided match.
WAIS coach Mark Hager, an illustrious striker in the early 90s, summed
up the match when he said that his team did not play as well as when they
did in Ipoh on Wednesday. WAIS won 6-3 then.
"In the second half, my boys stopped playing hockey and the Malaysian
team could have fought back, but they missed too many chances," said
The Aussies got their act together early and in the sixth minute Aaron
Hopkins hit a thundering shot from the top of the semicircle.
The ball was going out but it hit Mohamed Madzli and ended up in goal.
Goalkeeper Mohamed Khuzmir made a few well calculated saves after that
but poor defending made his job tougher.
K. Keevan Raj, being groomed as a playmaker, was too slow in creating
openings and his reluctance to release the ball early cost the Malaysian
side dearly.
In the 30th minute, Jiwa Mohan stopped the ball on the line but gave
away a penalty corner in the process. Richard Gibson made no mistakes and
hammered home to extend the lead to 2-0.
A penalty flick in the 33rd minute because of stick-check in the
semicircle placed the Aussies in a comfortable position. Steve Sexton
stepped up and beat the goalkeeper who dived in the wrong direction.
Malaysia received their second penalty corner of the match in the 42nd
minute and K. Logan Raj scored off a beautiful setpiece.
But that was as much space as the Aussies allowed the Project 2001
Two quick goals by Murray McIntyre (64th) and Matthew Montgomery (68th)
made the 100-odd crowd at the National Hockey Stadium return home
wondering what was wrong with the team.
The Project 2001 team do not have a shape yet. However, the Junior World
Cup qualifiers are in the middle of next year and there is still time to
work on the team.
Junior World Cup champions Australia, as revealed by Hager, will only
start forming a team at the end of the year.
Australia seem to find Malaysia a good hunting ground because after the
WAIS team return, the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) side will be
down to play six friendlies with the national team on March 12-18 at the
National Hockey Stadium.
Canada will arrive on March 25 while New Zealand have booked March 30
for a friendly.
Today: Project 2001 v WAIS (National Hockey Stadium, 5:30pm).

Veteran Teh eyeing Brunei slot


WITH rifle and pistol events being scrapped from the Brunei Sea Games in
August, skeet and trap shooters will take centre stage at the Tun Haniff
Omar Cup starting today at the Subang Shooting Range.
And veteran skeet campaigner Richard Teh aims to grab the opportunity.
Teh, who last donned national colours in 1991 and won a team gold at the
Philippines Sea Games, wants to be among the six the National Shooting
Association of Malaysia (NSAM) will name to the Brunei Games.
"After the Philippines Games I had to stop active participation for
personal reasons. Now I am back and the first thing to do is win medals at
the Brunei Games and then prepare for the 2001 Games," said Teh.
Shooting won four golds at the 1997 Games in Jakarta, but Brunei will
only have the clay target, individual skeet and trap, and double trap
events - a blessing as far as Teh is concerned.
For the 35-year-old scuba diving instructor, who has been a regular at
the range of late, the Tun Hanif Cup will be his first major tournament
since 1991.
"Judging by current form, I pick Goh Kek Chuan and Ricky Chee as sure
bets for Brunei so that leaves only one skeet ticket which I aim to
claim," said Teh.
The golden shooters in Jakarta were Azmi Zakaria (10m air rifle
individual); Azmi, Abdul Mutalib Razak and Aziz Berahim (10m air rifle
team); Nurul Hudda Baharin (50m sport pistol individual) and Nurul,
Roslina Bakar and Sarihati Awang Akhbar (50m sport pistol team).
With indoor events out in the cold, Malaysia will not be able to defend
the four golds won at the Jakarta Games.
They may be out of the Sea Games but Nurul and and company are likely to
compete in seven major international shooting championships this year,
with the Tun Haniff Cup as the curtain raiser.
"The NSAM Council will meet next week and, among others, we will decide
on international assignments," said NSAM assistant secretary Mej Jasni
Nurul, who finished third behind Roslina Bakar and Noriha Rani in the
last Tun Hanif Cup, will take part in the air rifle today and is expected
to come out tops.
Today (all finals at 2pm): Air rifle, rapid fire pistol, free pistol,
trap, skeet, air rifle; Tomorrow: Air pistol, centre fire pistol, small
bore free rifle prone, trap, skeet, small bore rifle three-position,
standard pistol.

Bukit Jalil to be affordable


SPORTS Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday assured associations
that they will soon be able to use facilities at the Bukit Jalil Sports
Complex at reasonable rates.
Speaking at a Post Cabinet briefing in Kuala Lumpur, Muhyiddin said a
review of the current rental rates will be sent to sports associations
"I have had discussions with the Stadium Board and they assured me new
rates are being worked out," he said.
"The Stadium Board have agreed to come up with different rates for
national trainings, local tournaments and world class events.
"If tickets are sold for the event, the Stadium Board will naturally set
a higher rate. But for training and local tournaments, the rates would be
reasonable and affordable."
The present rates set by the Stadium Board is beyond the reach of
associations who want to organise local tournaments.
The National Under-21 hockey scheduled for March 13-21 at the National
Hockey Stadium was postponed and move to Ipoh.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary S. Satgunam said this was
because they could not raise the RM40,000 fees charged for the National
Hockey Stadium.
Muhyiddin, however, said the Stadium Board denied that they gave MHF the
charges in writing.
The rental charges for venues under the Stadium Board were decided by
the Cabinet.
Last year the Malaysian Netball Association (MNA) decided against using
the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara when they were quoted RM2,000 per day.
The five-day national championship would have cost the MNA, who don't
charge for entrance, RM10,000.
MNA opted for Stadium Negara, the usual venue.
SRA of Malaysia (SRAM), who earlier announced that they would move their
office from the Olympic Council of Malaysia building to the squash centre
in Bukit Jalil, had second thoughts when they were quoted steep rentals.
SRAM, who pay RM364 per month to the OCM, proposed about RM500 at Bukit
Jalil. But this was not accepted.
SRAM also put on hold moving national training to Bukit Jalil.
"The Bukit Jalil complex was built for sport and there is no move to
make it into a business centre by holding exhibitions and concerts," said
"Only when there are no booking for sport will the Stadium Board look
for other sources of income.
"RM12 million per year is needed for the upkeep of the complex in Bukit
Kiara and Bukit Jalil and since sport is seasonal, the Stadium Board have
to look elswhere.
"But rest assured the new rates will not burden sports associations."
Right now, if tickets are sold for a tournament, the stadium managers do
not charge rental but collect 15 per cent of the gate earnings.
If 15 per cent of the daily gate earnings is less than RM2,000, then
they charge a flat rate of RM2,000 per day.

Yahya wants new talent under his care


THE Milo-MSN-Champions Schools Trophy which ended in Malacca on Sunday has
unearthed a handful of national material but there is fear that they might
disappear from the scene.
The reason is that there is no national Under-18 team right now so they
are at an age where they don't have an avenue to continue their hockey
career to graduate into national level.
But all is not lost, national coach Yahya Atan has agreed to take them
under his wings, with the approval of the Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF)
of course.
"I have had discussions with Steven van Huizen and decided that five or
six players who were outstanding in the Champions Schools should continue
training or else they might retire early.
"I am willing to train them alongside the national Under-16 squad which
I also handle," said Yahya.
Best player of the tournament, Mohamed Nazrul Wan Deraman, best
goalkeeper Nabil Wan Ahmad, best player in the final Che Redzuan Ismail -
all from Hamzah Secondary of Machang - and most promising player Tajul
Rosli of Anderson in Ipoh are some of the players who have potential.
"We have an Under-16, Project 2001 and senior squad and the reason for
not having an Under-18 is that it will overlap with the Project squad,"
said van Huizen.
Van Huizen and Yahya feel that it would be too early to include players
from the Champions Schools into the Project squad.
"They might feel left out if they are placed together with the Project
players because they lack exposure and experience," said Yahya.
"On the other hand, if they play with the Under-16 players, they might
feel under utilised. I will have to work out a plan to benefit them."

Mapping our fortunes


THE 2002 World Cup bidding committee have prepared an 84-page report which
is expected to put Malaysia back on the hockey map again.
According to Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF) officials, the bid, to be
finalised by the 20-member International Hockey Federation (FIH) executive
board on March 15, is as good as in the bag.
"The National Sports Council, the Sports Minister, Kuala Lumpur's mayor
and even RTM have given us supporting letters for the bid. With the
backing of the Government and world class facilities at Bukit Jalil, we
have a good chance of hosting the World Cup which we last staged in 1975,"
said MHF deputy president Datuk Seri P. Alagendra.
Malaysia, who finished fourth in 1975, have only qualified for the World
Cup three times since.
Playing at home in 2002, with the support of the local crowd behind the
them might do wonders for the team, like what it did for the Commonwealth
Games where Malaysia won silver.
Six countries were in the running but only Malaysia, Spain and Belgium
submitted the paperwork. Egypt withdrew while Australia and Ireland failed
to submit their documents when the deadline expired on Feb 15.
With a proven track record in hosting international events, and better
facilities than Spain and Belgium, the FIH have a clear winner for the
bid. Belgium are said to be out of the running because FIH are not "too
happy" that they share the border with Holland who last hosted the World
Crowd support is one of the considerations for FIH approval and in this
aspect, Malaysia enjoy the advantage over Spain whose hockey in centred in
Madrid only.
Belgium submitted their bid to host both the men's and women's finals
while Malaysia and Spain bid only for the men's event. Should Malaysia get
the men's, Belgium could host the women's.
Among the things requested by FIH in the bid are two adjacent pitches,
four changing rooms, television facilities and good transport
"Malaysia qualify on basic requirements. We have also drawn up a plan to
have the best team available for the World Cup. Scouts are right now at
the Champions Schools tournament in Malacca, for one, to find replacements
for ageing stars," he added .
"The National Sports Council has been supportive and told us to start
preparing a team for the 2002 assault, irrespective of whether we win the
bid or not."

Bundesliga stint on hold


GERMAN coach Paul Lissek's plans to expose six juniors in the Bundesliga
to inculcate "German thinking" for the 2001 Junior World Cup assault has
been put on hold.
Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF) deputy president Datuk Seri P.
Alagendra said yesterday the German HA could not accommodate their request
because of a tight season.
"We also wrote to Australia and Holland with the same request and while
the Dutch have yet to reply, the Australians gave the same reply as the
Germans," said Alagendra.
Six juniors from the Project 2001 squad were to play in the German
National Hockey League as well as in a Four-Nation under the guidance of
Lissek. The plan was made with the approval of the National Sports Council
who have employed Lissek as consultant.
The six who missed the chance of the German attachment are Chua Boon
Huat and Suhaimi Ibrahim (Red and White Munich); K. Keevan Raj and K.
Logan Raj (Monchengladbach); Madzli Ikmar and Syayrim Uda Karim (Black and
White Neuss).
In the previous stint in 1997, S. Kuhan, R. Shankar, Kerpal Singh, Nor
Azlan Bakar and Chairil Anwar Aziz played in the three-month Bundesliga as
part of their preparation for the World Cup in Utrecht.
Malaysia failed to qualify for the Junior World Cup in Milton Keynes,
England in 1997 for the first time after finishing fifth in the Asian
Junior Cup three years ago.
The silver lining is former national hockey coach Volker Knapp's
willingness to recruit two juniors to play for Eintracht Frankfurt on
April 16 to May 30 and the deal is that the German club will pay for air
tickets, board and lodging.
"We received a letter from Knapp yesterday on the request for two
juniors and would extend our help in selecting the players. It is actually
a compliment to Malaysian players because it looks like they have made a
name at the international level."
Meanwhile, the MHF Competitions Committee announced yesterday Germany,
Canada, Pakistan, South Korea and New Zealand confirmed their first team
for the Azlan Shah Cup.
"Even after the closing date for entries, we received requests from five
other countries. Unfortunately, we could not accommodate them.
"It only goes to show that the tournament has gained recognition over
the years. In fact, Canada and Germany have plans to come early and play a
few friendlies."
MHF have decided that they will not recall players who were dropped
before the Commonwealth Games but will try and accommodate a few seniors
who would have sat their examinations before the Cup.
"We met some of the players and university officials and have received a
positive response.
"In fact, Maninderjit Singh and Mirnawan Nawawi have committed
themselves for the tournament."

No promise of world's best for the Mines


ORGANISERS of the 48th World Cup of Golf said yesterday they cannot
guarantee the world's best golfers will be at the Mines Resort City on Nov
Organising committee co-chairman Tan Sri Aziz Ismail said in the past
World Cups, some of the top 10 players in the world have been known to
miss the tournament.
"We have no jurisdiction over who plays. Each country have their own
system in selecting their team. World rankings don't matter," said Aziz
after witnessing the signing of Unisys MSC as the technical official
Unisys MSC was represented by its managing director Jonji Villa and
Parallel Media Group by its managing director Keld Kristiansen.
The US$1.5 million (RM5.7 million) tournament will showcase 64 golfers
from 32 countries including champions England and hosts Malaysia.
In Auckland last year, England's Nick Faldo John Daly from the US and
Scotsman Colin Montgomerie were some of the big names who showed up.
Faldo's lesser known partner, David Carter sunk a 20-foot putt at the
18th to seal the win at eight-under 568.
"It would be nice if Tiger Woods represents the United States but there
are about 20 golfers who are just as good as Woods and I would not be
surprised if he does not make the team," said Aziz.
Tickets, priced at RM40 for the first two days and RM60 for the third
and RM80 for the final days, will go on sale in April. Season tickets cost

Eintracht keen to recruit Malaysian juniors


FORMER national hockey coach Volker Knapp is looking for two Malaysians to
play for Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga on April 16 to May
Knapp, who now coaches Eintracht, will arrive before the Azlan Shah Cup
to do the scouting.
"The club are keen on signing two Malaysians, not necessarily national
players, for the season and have agreed to provide air tickets, board and
lodging," said Knapp by telephone yesterday.
Knapp said he will talk terms with interested players before approaching
the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to sort out the paperwork.
"We will be writing to the MHF soon to make a formal request for the
players, failing which we will approach India.
"But I would rather have Malaysians," said Knapp.
Knapp's contract as coach of the Malaysian team was not renewed after
World Cup in Utrecht, Holland last year. He was replaced by Paul Lissek
for the Commonwealth Games in September.
The first exercise in 1997 saw five national players on attachment with
German clubs for three months prior to the World Cup qualifiers.
The players were S. Kuhan and Kerpal Singh (both with Limburg), Chairil
Anwar Aziz and Nor Azlan Bakar (Frankfurt 1880) and R. Shankar (SAFO).
"Since the Bundesliga begins after the Azlan Shah Cup and most of the
national players will be on holiday, it is a good chance for a six-week
exposure," said Knapp.
Meanwhile, the MHF, happy with the success of sending some junior
players on attachement with German clubs in 1997, are looking to send 12
juniors to two top clubs under the guidance of Lissek.

Bukit Jalil beyond reach of sport


IF you have no plans for the weekend, grab your camera and head for Bukit
Jalil because a herd of white elephants have been sighted there.
Basking majestically in the sun, the National Sports Complex which
houses state-of-the-art squash courts, world-class swimming pools, the
best running track and a multi-purpose hall have been hardly utilised for
local sport after the September Commonwealth Games.
During the recent school holidays, busloads of students and others
trundled around the complex, impressed with the beauty and size of the
stadia - the pride of the nation for 11 fun-filled days in September.
Built with the aim of hosting the best Commonwealth Games ever, and for
future development of athletes, the complex today serves primarily as a
tourist attraction and a place where families in the city go for their
evening walks.
Far from being a centre to help nurture athletes, the complex has been
priced beyond the rentable reach of sports associations.
Hockey, for one, found out to their deficit - they were slapped with a
RM41,000 bill for organising the 10-day Razak Cup last year.
And now the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have been lambasted by
their State affiliates because they decided not to hold the Under-21
championship at the National Hockey Stadium for obvious reasons.
"When we approached the Stadium Board and asked for a reduced rate for
the local tournament, we were surprised," said an MHF official, who
declined to be named.
"Not only were we quoted an astronomical RM5,000 per day, but when we
went through the breakdown, we found they also included charges for the
secretariat, VIP grandstand arrangements and labour charges.
"If the MHF can't afford to host local tournaments at the National
Hockey Stadium, who can?"
The last major tournament organised at the National Hockey Stadium was
the Commonwealth Games and before that it was the World Cup qualifiers.
So, except for national trainings for which the tab is picked up by the
National Sports Council, the two pitches have been left to the vagaries of
the weather.
Almost all associations have requested for reduced rates for national
assignments but as the Sports Minister said when approached on the issue:
"There is no such thing as a free lunch. You use, you pay ....."
Very sound business advice. But the Minister needs to be reminded that
if nobody uses the facilities, nobody pays for the upkeep.
The Stadium Board spend RM1.2 million a month to maintain the complex in
Bukit Jalil and the netball and lawn bowls stadium in Bukit Kiara. This is
minus salaries, water and electricity bills.
So to keep the till ringing, they have decided to utilise the complex
for a myriad of activities from bringing down Bollywood stars, having a
martial arts show featuring Chuck Norris and several Hollywood stars, and
having a Disney on Ice show and go-kart competitions.
Sports has taken a back seat because they do not bring in the money. The
Stadium Board's idea to alter the perception that the complex is only for
sports to bring in more revenue, although laudable, is detrimental to
grassroot development in the long run.
MHF do not have it in their budget to pay RM40,000 to organise the
Under-21 at the National Hockey Stadium. Ipoh have been given the task to
host it.
"Why should we pay so much for pitch charges when we can easily book
pitches in Ipoh, Seremban and Klang for nominal fees? The Ipoh City Hall
have been very understanding in the past and always ask for a nominal sum
for local tournaments, so we will hold the Under-21 in Ipoh this year.
"We have decided that only international tournaments like the Azlan Shah
Cup will be hosted at the National Hockey Stadium because we can make some
money by selling tickets, otherwise only national trainings which would
cost us about RM5,000 to RM7,000 for a few weeks will be held at Bukit
MHF are bidding to host the 2002 World Cup, which Malaysia last hosted
in 1975 on a grass pitch, and if we beat Spain and Belgium's bid, it will
be the next big assignment for the National Hockey Stadium.
Until then, tourists rule.

MHF stick to June date


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) Management Committee met yesterday
and decided that it would be cost effective to hold the National Under-21
outside Kuala Lumpur.
MHF secretary S. Satgunam said they will stick to the new date in June
and will find an alternative venue because the National Hockey Stadium
rental is too high.
"It is alright to hold international tournaments at the National Hockey
Stadium because we can sell tickets, said Satgunam yesterday.
"But local leagues are out of the question because we cannot sell
Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, who have started selecting players for the
Under-21 which was to be held in March, are not happy with the arrangement
but MHF have set their mind on June and the probable venue could be either
in Ipoh or Seremban.
Satgunam said the venue will be confirmed tomorrow.
The committee also decided that in addition to the 24 shortlisted for
national duty, they will need to call up more players.
"While Maninderjit Singh and Mirnawan Nawawi have committed themselves
to play in the Azlan Shah Cup, there are still a handful of players who
are doubtful starters because of studies and personal commitment.
"That is why the committee are keeping the door open to consider adding
and dropping players from time to time," said Satgunam.
That is why the MHF were keen on recalling Dr Brian Jayhan Siva.
"We contacted him yesterday but he said that since he has laid off
hockey for quite sometime, he is not very fit and would not be able to get
back in shape in time for the Azlan Shah Cup.
"Calvin Fernandez is also not available as he wants to concentrate on
his medical studies. He will only be available for the Olympic Qualifier
next year."
The national team will not be going overseas to prepare for the Azlan
Shah Cup, instead they will play a few friendlies with either Germany or
Canada one week before the tournament.
"We are trying to persuade Germany to come early for a few friendlies
failing which we have the Canadian team to rely upon," said Satgunam.
The National Hockey Stadium is the confirmed venue for the Azlan Shah
Cup because of the tremendous support given by Klang Valley fan to
internationals hosted there before.

`Missing' Brian gets MHF attention


THE Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF) selected 24 national trainees to
prepare for the Azlan Shah Cup on April 2-11 but only 10 turned up for the
first day's training at the National Hockey Stadium at Bukit Jalil
No, there was no mutiny, only minor problems.
"Some of the players called to inform me that they will be delayed for
at least two days because they have problems to sort out," said national
coach Yahya Atan.
While 13 players have responded positively to the national call-up,
Brian Jayhan Siva is still missing.
"We would like to have him in the squad but his position is still
unclear. The MHF will have to decide whether they want to pursue the
matter of his posting with the medical Board," said Yahya.
"Morover, Brian, who has just become a doctor, recently got married and
we have been informed that he is on leave."
The MHF Management Committee will meet today to decide, among other
thing, whether to recall Brian.
The trainees were shortlisted after the recent stint in Perth and the
Cairo Five Nation where the senior squad finished fourth.
"Maninderjit Singh and Minarwan Nawawi are also doubtful," said Yahya.
"They have requested to be left out to prepare for their examinations.
"Junior player Razak Saidin is also keen to concentrate on his sports
science final exams at the end of the month.
"The squad are still in the early stages of preparation and we will only
decide later this month on the team to the Azlan Shah Cup."
On the poor showing in Cairo, Yahya said the team is still raw.
"I have prepared a report on Cairo and it reads that the team played
well but are still raw in midfield.
"We will have to polish up our defending to stop counter-attacking
goals. That was the department in which we lost out. Otherwise, I am happy
with the seniors."
Malaysia will open against New Zealand in the Azlan Shah Cup follow by
matches against Canada, Pakistan, Germany and South Korea.
"We had planned to hold a series of matches with Japan to prepare for
the Azlan Shah Cup but since Japan will be travelling to New Zealand at
that time, we might travel to New Zealand and compete in a 'triangular'.
"But this is still at the planning stage."
The trainees: Roslan Jamaluddin, asihin Nubli, Izwan Suhardi, K.
Gobinathan, Nor Azlan Bakar, Madzli Ikmar, Badrul Hisham, S. Kuhan, M.
Jiva, Chua Boon Huat, K. Logan Raj, Azlin Fairuz, Chairil Anwar, Saiful
Azli, M. Kaliswaran, Suhaimi Ibrahim, Razak Saidin, Syayrim Uda Karim,
Zaharin Zakaria, K. Keevan Raj, Maninderjit Singh, Minarwan Nawawi, Faizal
Daud, Brian Jayhan Siva.

Stars miss cut, and that's golf for you


SO the stars fell by the wayside. Favourites Darren Clarke and Lee
Westwood - who finished second and third in last year's European Volvo
Order of Merit - both failed to make the cut in the US$750,000 (RM2.85mil)
Malaysian Open championship.
Out, too, after two rounds was Jeev Milkha Singh of India, in his second
year on the European Tour.
In golf, to miss the cut is normal. Making the cut itself is an
So Westwood, Clarke and Milkha should not be chastised when they were
bundled out. Of course, the fans who had wanted so much to see them battle
all the four days were disappointed.
In fact, on the same day in Sydney, even the legendary Greg Norman
missed the cut for the first time in 23 years in a tournament named after
him - the Greg Norman International.
And look how Bernard Langer squandered a five-shot lead in the same
invitational to card a final day of 80.
That is golf for you. Nothing is certain.
But the early exit of the stars did not in any way diminish the lustre
of this year's Malaysian Open, fourth leg of the European Tour, held at
the Saujana Golf and Country Club.
The tournament was, in the words of European Tour executive director Ken
Schofield, `qualitatively like any other Tour event'.
But with stakes higher, from US$300,000 (RM1.14mil) last year to
US$750,000 (RM2.85mil) and with its merger with the European Tour, the
Open will never be the same again.
Founded in 1962, the last Open of the millennium will be remembered as a
battle between East and West.
True, the Asians were not quite in the forefront but yet some of them
finished among the top 12, including Thailand's Chawalit Plaphol and
Prayad Marksaeng, Taiwan's Chang Tse Peng and Wang Ter-chang, South
Korea's Kim Jong-duk and Choi Kyoung-ju and Frankie Minoza of the
When the merger was first announced, there were initial fears the 65
European Tour players would whip their poorer Asian cousins. But it was
not the case.
Even the winner, American Gerry Norquist, is an `Asian product'.
Except for Alex Cejka of Germany, Andrew Coltart of Scotland, Ireland's
Padraig Harrington, most of the others among the top 10 were from the APGA
Sunday's win propelled the diminutive 36-year-old Norquist to third
place in the European Volvo Order of Merit behind South Africa's Ernie Els
and Bob May, joint runnerup with Cejka.
As for the Open, it is merely the beginning for better things to come.
Once the APGA Tour, who jointly sanctioned the Open, is accepted for world
rankings, tournaments such as the Open will attract more quality players.
A likely increase in prize money to US$1 million (RM3.8mil) next year
will catapult the Open to the forefront of the US$233mil (RM885mil)
European Tour.

Mr Nice Guy makes it two


GERRY NORQUIST held on his slim overnight lead like a bulldog before
romping to a runaway win in the US$750,000 Benson and Hedges Malaysian
Open at Saujana Golf and Country Club yesterday.
The American kept his cool to fire a final round one-under 71 for a
four-day total of eight-under 280 - three strokes ahead of second placed
Alex Cejka of Germany and compatriot Bob May.
The win not only landed him a purse of US$121,125 (RM460,27) but also a
European Tour card, which he promptly signed after receiving his trophy
from Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Ja'afar at the 18th hole.
Regarded as one of the tour's nice guys, Norquist said it was his
biggest ever payday.
"I've been called a steady and consistent player but underneath, I can
jump up and down like a jelly bean," said Norquist, who had four birdies
and three bogeys in his round. It was his second Malaysian Open title,
having first won in 1993 when he beat Fiji's Vijay Singh by a stroke at
the Royal Selangor Golf Club.
Norquist, a 36-year-old former insurance salesman from Arizona, led the
field from the second round onwards and failed to crack under pressure
unlike so many other Europeans who found the Saujana greens too fast to
their liking.
The overnight leader teed off with Ed Fryatt, the defending champion,
and American Shaun Micheel. The duo were hot on Norquist's heels up till
the 14th when they were five-under and six-under respectively.
Norquist hit the green safely in two while Fryatt and Micheel had to
bring out their sand wedges. Fryatt came out safely and landed three feet
from the flag but Micheel fumbled and landed on the rough.
At the par-4 15th, Norquist again played it safe and reached the greens
in two but Micheel landed in the pond and dropped back further.
Fryatt had a chance of sinking a birdie from two feet but missed the cup
by a whisker. He tried for par and the ball lipped the edge and came out
again. The bogey on the 15th made him furious and he kicked his golfing
bag in anger.
The Englishman was still in the game but a gallant attempt at the 17th,
where he tried to carry the ball across a cluster of trees and pond,
landed him in trouble.
It was at that point that Norquist knew the title was his and he played
standard golf, nothing fancy but deadly all the less.
He had tried six times for an American PGA card but failed while his
attempt in 1991 to play in Europe was also a disaster.
"I played a very frigid week at pre-qualifying at Montpellier in 1991. I
feel very privileged to be part of the European tour now," he said, but
added he would still come back to play tournaments in Asia.
"Before I came to Asia, I heard horror stories - the food, greens being
so slow you need a mallet for a putter, the heat, the snakes, the
sickness. But I took the decision to come and it was the best I ever
On whether he will be back for the Malaysian Open, Norquist had this to
say: "In 1993, after beating Vijay Singh, I remember a newspaper caption
which said: `I love you Malaysia'. Although I don't remember saying it, it
captured my feelings then.
"I love the weather and the heat, and the people are so friendly - so
many friendly faces and they accept me. I feel very close to Malaysia." RYDER CUP STANDINGS
Leading points after the Malaysian Open: 1 Colin Montgomerie (Scot)
5,334 pts; 2 Darren Clarke (N Ire) 3,291; 3 Sven Struever (Ger) 2,600; 4
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spn) 2,513; 5 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 2,005; 6 Andrew
Coltart (Scot) 1,990; 7 Lee Westwood (Bri) 1,960; 8 Jarmo Sandelin (Swe)
1,935; 9 Alex Cejka (Ger) 1,806; 10 Patrik Sjoland (Swe) 1,590; 11 Pierre
Fulke (Swe) 1,411; 12 Bernhard Langer (Ger) 1,369; 13 Steve Webster (Eng)
1,193; 14 Gordon Brand Jr (Scot) 1,146; 15 Per-Ulrik Johansson (Swe) 977;
16 Peter Baker (Eng) 973; 17 Sam Torrance (Scot) 945; 18 Paul McGinley
(Ire) 932; 19 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 912; 20 Costantino Rocca (Ita)
891. FINAL ROUND SCORES (Malaysian unless stated)
(Malaysian unless stated): 280 Gerry Norquist (US) 67-67-75-71; 283 Alex
Cejka (Ger) 70-73-69-71, Bob May (US) 72-69-70-72; 284 Chawalit Plaphol
(Tha) 76-71-69-68, Andrew Coltart (Sco) 70-71-73-70, Chang Tse-peng (Tai)
77-64-73-70, Padraig Harrington (Ire) 70-73-70-71, Shaun Micheel (US) 69-
285 Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) 72-72-72-69, Ed Fryatt (Bri) 70-69-71-75; 286
Scott Rowe (HK) 74-70-72-70, Kim Jong-duk (S Kor) 73-71-71-71, Nick O'Hern
(Aus) 74-71-70-71, Frankie Minoza (Phi) 67-74-73-72, Andrew Bonhomme (Aus)
70-74-70-72, Christopher Hanell (Swe) 75-67-72-72, Craig Hainline (US) 70-
71-72-73, Choi Kyoung-ju (S Kor) 68-71-73-74, Wang Ter-chang (Tai) 69-72-
71-74, Christian Chernock (US) 70-71-70-75.
287 Jim Rutledge (Can) 70-74-74-69, Thomas Levet (Fr) 72-73-70-72, Gary
Evans (Bri) 75-67-72-73, Anders Hansen (Den) 70-71-73-73, Jarmo Sandelin
(Swe) 74-71-68-74, Paul McGinley (Ire) 74-71-68-74.
288 David Howell (Eng) 70-75-74-69, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 74-70-74-70,
John Bickerton (Eng) 73-72-73-70, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 74-72-68-73, Dean
Wilson (US) 71-68-75-74, Simon Yates (Sco) 77-69-68-74.
289 Per Haugsrud (Nor) 74-70-74-71, Andrew McLardy (SA) 78-67-73-71,
Chris Williams (Eng) 73-71-74-71, John Mellor (Eng) 72-73-72-72, Eric
Meeks (US) 71-73-73-72, Gilberto Morales (Ven) 71-72-74-72, Zhang Lian-wei
(Chn) 66-75-75-73, Daniel Chopra (Swe) 71-74-71-73, Katsuyoshi Tomori
(Jpn) 72-73-71-73, Pierre Fulke (Swe) 73-69-72-75.
290 Brad Andrews (Aus) 73-74-73-70, Angel Cabrera (Arg) 76-70-71-73, Ali
Kadir 75-71-70-74, Greg Owen (Eng) 71-72-70-77.
291 Jose Coceres (Arg) 75-69-76-71, Christian Pena (US) 66-75-74-76,
Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 71-72-70-78; 292 Rolf Muntz (Hol) 73-74-74-71, Lin
Keng-chi (Tai) 72-72-70-78; 293 Rob Huxtable (US) 75-70-75-73, Tomas Munoz
(Sp) 68-71-80-74, Eric Rustand (US) 70-76-73-74, Marcello Santi (It) 70-
294 S. Murthy 76-70-74-74, Jerry Smith (US) 71-73-75-75; 296 Jonathan
Lomas (Eng) 73-74-77-72, Stephen Bennett (Eng) 71-76-73-76, Choi Gwang-soo
(S Kor) 73-72-73-78, Kyl Hla Han (Mya) 72-73-73-78.
297 Robin Byrd (US) 75-72-75-75; 298 Robert Derksen (Hol) 74-71-73-80;
299 Charlie Wi (S Kor) 73-71-80-75; 301 M. Ramayah 73-74-72-82.

Norquist hangs on to lead


AMERICAN Gerry Norquist fought hard to keep his overnight lead after he
bogeyed the opening three holes while champion Ed Fryatt of England kept
his hopes of a repeat intact on a dramatic third day of the Benson &
Hedges Malaysian Open at Saujana GCC yesterday.
Fryatt reached the par-five 18th in three and had only three feet for
his birdie to end the day at one-under 71 while Norquist's early loss of
concentration gave him a 75.
Fryatt and American Shaun Micheel, with a 70, are one shot back of
Norquist, who stands at seven-under 209.
The 18th was where all the excitement was as Norquist's second shot
landed in the rough and was in the bunker after his third. But with about
58 yards to the pin in the sand, his fourth stopped two feet from the cup
as he saved par.
"I never give up. I don't care what position I am in, whether I'm
shooting 80 or whatever, it doesn't matter. I've ridden out the storm
plenty of times in my career and have come from five down in matchplay and
from five-over to stand under par in strokeplay," said Norquist.
The 1993 champion's scorecard registered bogeys at the first, second,
third and eighth while his lone bird was at the 17th.
"I hit the ball on the fairway almost everytime in the first 36 holes
and did not think that the course was as difficult as scores were
indicating. But today (yesterday), I saw a more difficult course than the
pro-am and the first two rounds. It is a tiger with big teeth," said
"I can't go out and say that I'm going to win the tournament because
tomorrow (today) someone might shoot a marvellous round. But one thing is
for sure, I want to walk away from here having played a good round of
Norquist was not far off when he said the tournament is still wide open.
Besides Fryatt and Micheel, Americans Bob May and Christian Chernock are
five-under after the pair returned 70s.
Fryatt, meanwhile, was pleased that he stayed in the hunt for his second
trophy at Saujana. "I had a few good chances but some putts didn't drop. I
would have liked to be leading by six but since I still have a chance to
defend my title, it is going to be fun playing in the final," said Fryatt.
"I've played a lot with Gerry and Shaun in the past. Gerry's
unbelievable, he is like a bulldog out there plugging away, while Shaun
has so much talent.
"I said all week that the number to win was going to be 10-under and
that's what I still think. If Gerry had a little more luck then he could
have been six or seven ahead but you never know, six could be enough."
For Micheel, the ninth turned the tide for him.
"The ninth was the turning point, I pulled my tee shot left and into
deep rough in front of the fence. I asked for a ruling several times
because I knew the fence was not an integral part of the course. Luckily I
was able to get a free drop and make a five. My attitude changed
completely after that," said Micheel.
"I hit the tee ball well but you can't force the ball around this
course. That's why Norquist is doing well. He doesn't overpower it and
keeps it straight." THIRD ROUND SCORES
209 Gerry Norquist (US) 67-67-75; 210 Shaun Micheel (US) 69-71-70; Ed
Fryatt (Eng) 70-69-71.;
211 Bob May (US) 72-69-70, Christian Chernock (US) 70-71-70; 212 Alex
Cejka (Ger) 70-73-69; Wang Ter-chang (Tai) 69-72-71, Choi Kyung-ju (S Kor)
213 Paul McGinley (Ire) 74-71-68, Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 74-71-68, Jyoti
Randhawa (Ind) 71-72-70, Greg Owen (Eng) 71-72-70, Padraig Harrington
(Ire) 70-73-70, Craig Hainline (US) 70-71-72.
214 Simon Yates (Scot) 77-69-68, Lin Keng-chi (Tai) 72-72-70, Andrew
Bonhomme (Aus) 70-74-70, Chris Hanell (Swe) 75-67-72, Pierre Fulke (Swe)
73-69-72, Gary Evans (Eng) 75-67-72, Chang Tse-peng (Tai) 77-64-73,
Frankie Minoza (Phi) 67-74-73, Andrew Coltart (Scot) 70-71-73, Anders
Hansen (Den) 70-71-73, Dean Wilson (US) 71-68-75.
215 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 74-73-68, Nick O'Hern (Aus) 74-71-70, Thomas
Levet (Fra) 72-73-70, Kim Jong-duk (S Kor) 73-71-71, Christian Pena (US)
66-75-74, Marcello Santi (Ita) 70-71-74.
216 Chawalit Plaphol (Thai) 76-71-69, Ali Kadir (Mas) 75-71-70, Daniel
Chopra (Swe) 71-74-71, Katsuyoshi Tomori (Jpn) 72-73-71, Prayad Maerkseng
(Thai) 72-72-72, Scott Rowe (HK) 74-70-72, Zhang Lian-wei (Chn) 66-75-75.
217 Angel Cabrera (Arg) 76-70-71, John Mellor (Eng) 72-73-72, Eric Meeks
(US) 71-73-73, Gilberto Morales (Ven) 71-72-74.
218 Choi Gwang-soo (S Kor) 73-72-73, Robert Derksen (Hol) 74-71-73, Kyi
Hla Han (Mya) 72-73-73, Andrew McLardy (SA) 78-67-73, John Bickerton (Eng)
73-72-73, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 74-70-74, Chris Williams (Eng) 73-71-74,
Per Hausgrud (Nor) 74-70-74, Jim Rutledge (Can) 70-74.
219 M. Ramayah (Mas) 73-74-72, Eric Rustand (US) 70-76-73, David Howell
(Eng) 70-75-74, Jerry Smith (US) 71-73-75, Tomas Munoz (Spn) 68-71-80.
220 Brad Andrews (Aus) 73-74-73, Stephen Bennett (Eng) 73-74-73, S.
Murthy (Mas) 76-70-74, Rob Huxtable (US) 75-70-75, Jose Coceres (Arg) 75-
221 Rolf Muntz (Hol) 73-74-74; 222 Robin Byrd (US) 75-72-75; 224
Jonathan Lomas (Eng) 73-74-77, Charlie Wi (S Kor) 73-71-80. FINAL ROUND DRAW
8.30am: Jonathan Lomas (Eng), Charlie Wi (S Kor); 8.40: Robin Byrd (US),
Jose Coceres (Arg), Rolf Muntz (Hol); 8.50: S. Murthy (Mas), Rob Huxtable
(US), Stephen Bennett (Eng).
9.00: Brad Andrews (Aus), Jerry Smith (US); Tomas Munoz (Spn); 9.10:
Eric Rustand (US), David Howell (Eng), M. Ramayah (Mas); 9.20: Robert
Karlsson (Swe), Jim Rutledge (Can), Per Haugsrud (Nor); 9.30: Andrew
McLardy (SA), Chris Williams (SA), John Bickerton (Eng).
9.40: Kyi Hla Han (Mya), Choi Gwang-soo (S Kor); Robert Jan-Derksen
(Hol); 9.50: Gilberto Morales (Ven), Eric Meeks (US), John Mellor (Eng);
10.00: Angel Cabrera (Arg), Scott Rowe (HK), Zhang Lian-wei (Chn); 10.10:
Prayad Marksaeng (Thai), Katsuyoshi Tomori (Jpn), Daniel Chopra (Swe);
10.20: Ali Kadir (Mas), Chawalit Plaphol (Thai), Marcello Santi (Ita);
10.30: Christian Pena (US), Kim Jong-duck (S Kor), Thomas Levet (Fra);
10.40: Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Nick O'Hern (Aus), Dean Wilson (US); 10.50:
Gary Evans (Eng), Anders Hansen (Den), Andrew Coltart (Scot).
11.00: Pierre Fulke (Swe), Frankie Minoza (Phi), Chang Tse-peng (Tai);
11.10: Christopher Hanell (Swe), Lin Keng Chi (Tai), Andrew Bonhomme
(Aus); 11.20: Simon Yates (Scot), Craig Hainline (US), Padraig Harrington
(Ire); 11.30: Greg Owen (Eng), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind), Jarmo Sandelin (Swe);
11.40: Paul McGinley (Ire), Choi Kyung-ju (S Kor), Wang Ter-chang (Tai).
11.50: Alex Cejka (Ger), Christian Chernock (US), Bob May (US); 12.00:
Shaun Micheel (US), Ed Fryatt (Eng), Gerry Norquist (US).

Norquist storms ahead


FORMER champion Gerry Norquist fired a five-under 67 for the second day
running to take a five-stroke lead as Europe's No 2 and No 3, Darren
Clarke and Lee Westwood, failed to make the cut at the Benson and Hedges
Malaysian Open at the Saujana Golf and Country Club yesterday.
The steady Norquist who won the title in 1993 started with a birdie on
the first hole on a cool morning.
A bogey on the fourth was his only blemish as he went on to sink five
more birdies - on the first, ninth, 10th, 12th, 15th and 16th.
"If I say that I'm not surprised it is going to come out arrogant," said
Norquist, a former insurance salesman.
"I didn't expect it but I am pleased. But I have been around golf long
enough to know that anything can happen."
Malaysians Ali Kadir, S. Murthy and M. Ramayah managed to overcome the
tricky greens which only allowed 65 pros into the third round.
Norquist first played in Malaysia in 1991 and said that he always
focused on the present and learned early that if you focus on something
else, like rewards, you usually pay the price for it.
The 36-year-old won the tournament in 1993 in a play-off against Fiji's
Vijay Singh at Royal Selangor Golf Club but victory this time around will
be extra special as the Open is being joint-sanctioned with the PGA
European Tour.
Defending champion Ed Fryatt of England fired a 69 and shared second
spot with four others - American Dean Wilson who carded a 68, and South
Korea's Choi Kyung-ju and Spain's Tomas Munoz who returned 71s.
Wilson who is one of the only three golfers to have won four times on
the Asian PGA Tour has placed himself in an excellent position to claim a
record five titles by firing six birdies and a bogey over the 6,974-yard
Westwood, who lost in the playoff to Fryatt last year and won the Open
in 1997, missed the three-over par cut by one after carding a 72. Clarke
was 11 over.
India's Jeev Milkha Singh, presently No 2 on the European Tour Order of
Merit, missed the cut by three strokes.
Overnight leaders Zhang Lian-wei of China and American Christian Pena
both finished three-under with 75s.
Taiwan's Chang Tse-peng carded the lowest round with an eight-under 64.
His round, made up of eight birdies, equalled Westwood's course record but
did not stand as preferred lies were being played. SECOND ROUND SCORES
134 Gerry Norquist (US) 67-67; 139 Dean Wilson (US) 71-68, Ed Fryatt
(Eng) 70-69, Tomas Munoz (Spn) 68-71, Choi Kyung-ju (S Kor) 68-71; 140
Shaun Micheel (US) 69-71; 141 Chang Tse-peng (Tai) 77-64, Bob May (US) 72-
69, Marcello Santi (Ita) 70-71, Anders Hansen (Den) 70-71, Christian
Chernock (US) 70-71, Craig Hainline (US) 70-71, Andrew Coltart (Scot) 70-
71, Wang Ter-chang (Tai) 69-72, Frankie Minoza (Phi) 67-74, Christian Pena
(US) 66-75, Zhang Lian-wei (Chn) 66-75; 142 Gary Evans (Eng) 75-67, Chris
Hanell (Swe) 75-67, Pierre Fulke (Swe) 73-69; 143 Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 71-
72, Gilberto Morales (Ven) 71-72, Greg Owen (Eng) 71-72, Padraig
Harrington (Ire) 70-73, Alex Cejka (Ger) 70-73; 144 Jose Coceres (Arg) 75-
69, Per Hausgrud (Nor) 74-70, Scott Rowe (HK) 74-70, Robert Karlsson (Swe)
74-70, Charlie Wi (S Kor) 73-71, Kim Jong-duk (S Kor) 73-71, Chris
Williams (Eng) 73-71, Lin Keng-chi (Tai) 72-72, Prayad Maerkseng (Thai)
72-72, Eric Meeks (US) 71-73, Jerry Smith (US) 71-73, Andrew Bonhomme
(Aus) 70-74, Jim Rutledge (Can) 70-74.
145 Andrew McLardy (SA) 78-67, Rob Huxtable (US) 75-70, Nick O'Hern
(Aus) 74-71, Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 74-71, Robert Derksen (Hol) 74-71, Paul
McGinley (Ire) 74-71, John Bickerton (Eng) 73-72, Choi Gwang-soo (S Kor),
John Mellor (Eng) 72-73, Katsuyoshi Tomori (Jpn) 72-73, Thomas Levet (Fra)
72-73, Kyi Hla Han (Mya) 72-73, Daniel Chopra (Swe) 71-74, David Howell
(Eng) 70-75.
146 Simon Yates (Scot) 77-69, Angel Cabrera (Arg) 76-70, S. Murthy (Mas)
76-70, Ali Kadir (Mas) 75-71, Eric Rustand (US) 70-76; 147 Chalawit
Plaphol (Thai) 76-71, Robin Byrd (US) 75-72, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 74-73,
Jonathan Lomas (Eng) 73-74, Rolf Muntz (Hol) 73-74, M. Ramayah (Mas) 73-
74, Brad Andrews (Aus) 73-74, Stephen Bennett (Eng) 73-74.
Selected players who failed to make cut: 148 Lee Westwood (Eng) 76-72;
149 A. Dorairaj (a-Mas) 76-73, Rashid Ismail (Mas) 74-75; 150 Wong Hung
Nung (Mas) 76-74; 151 Danny Chia (Mas) 78-73, Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 76-
75; 152 Nico van Rensburg (SA) 76-76; 154 Jamaluddin Bador (Mas) 79-75, V.
Arumugam (Mas) 78-76, Mike Cunning (US) 76-78; 155 Rahizam Ramli (a-Mas)
77-78, Darren Clarke (N Ire) 76-79, P. Gunasegaran (Mas) 76-79; 156 R.
Nachimuthu (a-Mas) 76-80 THIRD ROUND DRAW
8.45: Brad Andrews (Aus), Rolf Muntz (Hol); 8.55: Jonathan Lomas (Eng),
M. Ramayah (Mas), Stephen Bennett (Eng); 9.05: Chawalit Plaphol (Thai),
Geoff Ogilvy (Aus), Robin Byrd (US).
9.15: S. Murthy (Mas), Ali Kadir (Mas), Simon Yates (Scot); 9.25: Eric
Rustand (US), Angel Cabrera (Arg), Choi Gwang-soo (S Kor); 9.35: Robert
Jan-Derksen (Hol), Paul McGinley (Ire), Kyi Hla Han (Mya).
9.45: Andrew McLardy (SA), Jarmo Sandelin (Swe), Nick O'Hern (Aus);
9.55: Rob Huxtable (US), Thomas Levet (Fra), Daniel Chopra (Swe); 10.05:
Katsuyoshi Tomori (Jpn), John Bickerton (Eng), David Howell (Eng).
10.15: John Mellor (Eng), Robert Karlsson (Swe), Chris Williams (SA);
10.25: Prayad Marksaeng (Thai), Kim Jong-duck (S Korea), Jerry Smith (US);
10.35: Scott Rowe (HK), Jim Rutledge (Can), Per Haugsrud (Nor).
10.45: Erik Meeks (US), Charlie Wi (S Kor), Lin Keng Chi (Tai); 10.55:
Jose Coceres (Arg), Andrew Bonhomme (Aus), Alex Cejka (Ger); 11.05: Greg
Owen (Eng), Gilberto Morales (Ven), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind).
11.15: Padraig Harrington (Ire), Pierre Fulke (Swe), Christopher Hanell
(Swe); 11.25: Gary Evans (Eng), Frankie Minoza (Phi), Chang Tse-peng
(Tai); 11.35: Zhang Lian-wei (Ch), Bob May (US), Andrew Coltart (Scot).
11.45: Christian Pena (US), Craig Hainline (US), Christian Chernock
(US); 11.55: Anders Hansen (Den), Marcello Santi (Ita), Wang Ter-chang
(Tai); 12.05: Shaun Micheel (US), Choi Kyung-ju (S Kor), Dean Wilson (US).
12.15: Ed Fryatt (Eng), Tomas Munoz (Spn), Gerry Norquist (US).

It's the same old story


CHINA'S Zhang Lian-wei was the surprise joint leader with American
Christian Pena as lighting lighted up the skies for a spell during the
opening round of the Benson and Hedges Malaysian Open yesterday.
But for the 10 local golfers it was just another usual round of golf
that held no excitement for the local fans.
The Malaysians, led by M. Ramayah, are no strangers to the Saujana Golf
and Country Club but none of them could tame the Palm Course, leaving it
to 16 foreign pros to return below par scores.
The best placed Malaysian was Ramayah who shot a one-over 73 and is
grouped in joint 20th with 12 others.
Ramayah, who started the day with a birdie on the first hole, was two-
under at the turn after sinking another two birdies on the sixth and
seventh and finishing with a blemish on the eighth.
But he had three bogeys on the back nine - on the 11th, 14th and 17th.
Ramayah, however, looks good going into the second round today.
Saujana's latest resident pro, Rashid Ismail, was two-over 74 with 11
others while Ali Kadir found the going tough and fired a 75.
Amateurs R. Nachimuthu and A. Dorairaj were game triers and carded 76s
which was also what their pro compatriots P. Gunasegaran and S. Murthy
managed to be in joint 51st with a slew of foreign pros.
Gunasegaran, who finished 10th at last week's Myanmar Open, carded five
bogeys but to his credit he salvaged the day when he stayed focused on the
return nine.
Rahizam Ramli shot 77, Danny Chia 78, Shaifubari Muda 79 and amateur
Mohamed Paisal Bee 81.
The shot of the day belonged to Taiwan's Lu Wen-teh who fired a hole-in-
one on the 216-yard par-three second with a four iron.
Unfortunately it was not on one of the designated holes where a Jaguar
car or worth your weight in Johnnie Walker whisky was on offer.
The ace was not the only excitement on a day when 56 golfers' game was
held up because of danger of lightning.
Australian television cameraman Gil Oberhofer who was standing on a 12-
foot platform near the 14th was hit in the back by lightning.
Officials summoned for an ambulance. But Oberhofer, who was working for
Asia Sport TV, told a medical crew he was unhurt and walked unaided to the
European Tour spokesman Gordon Simpson later said Oberhofer may have
received a shock from a build up of static electricity around his tower. 1ST ROUND SCORES
66 Christian Pena (US) 32-34, Zhang Lian-wei (Chn) 34-32; 67 Frankie
Minoza (Phi) 34-33; 68 Choy Kyung-ju (S Kor) 33-35; 70 Anders Hansen (Den)
36-34, Craig Hainline (US) 38-32, Christian Chernock (US) 34-36, Alex
Cejka (Ger) 37-33, Andrew Coltart (Scot) 35-35, Andrew Bonhomme (Aus) 36-
34; 71 Greg Owen (Eng) 35-36, Gilberto Morales (Ven) 36-35, Jerry Smith
(US) 35-36.
72 Prayad Marksaeng (Thai) 37-35, Lu Wen-teh (Tai) 36-36, Zaw Moe (Mya)
36-36, Bob May (US) 36-36, Kyi Hia Han (Mya) 35-37; 73 Max Anglert (Swe)
40-33, Jonathan Lomas (Eng) 36-37, Kim Jong-duk (S Kor) 36-37, Des
Terblanche (SA) 37-36, Pierre Fulke (Swe) 33-40, Ramon Brobio (Phi) 36-37,
Chris Williams (Eng) 36-37, Van Phillips (Eng) 36-37, Rolf Muntz (Hol) 36-
37, M. Ramayah (Mas) 34-39, Brad Andrews (Aus) 33-40, Choi Gwang-soo (S
Kor) 35-38.
74 Scott Rowe (HK) 39-35, Dominique Boulet (HK) 38-36, Jarmo Sandelin
(Swe) 37-37, Robert Derkson (Hol) 38-36, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 39-35, Paul
McGinley (Ire) 39-35, Soren Hansen (Den) 38-36, Rashid Ismail (Mas) 39-35,
Thomas Gogele (Ger) 38-36, Francis Valera (Sp) 36-38, Scott Taylor (US)
36-38, Alberto Binaghi (Ita) 37-37.
75 Mac O'Grady (US) 37-38, Gary Evans (Eng) 36-39, Ali Kadir (Mas) 39-
36, Thammanoon Sriroj (Thai) 35-40, Andrew Sherborne (Eng) 36-39,
Christopher Hannell (Swe) 38-37, JOse Coceras (Arg) 38-37.
76 Fredrik Lindgren (Swe) 38-38, Park Nam-sin (S Kor) 38-38, S. Murthy
(Mas) 35-41, Carlos Rodiles (Sp) 37-39, Jean van de Velde (Fra) 38-38,
Mike Cunning (US) 39-37, Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 39-37, R. Nachimuthu (am-
Mas) 38-38, P. Gunasegaran (Mas) 40-36, Mardan Mamat (Sin) 37-39, Olle
Nordberg (Swe) 35-41, Stephen Dodd (Wal) 39-37, Takeshi Ohyama (Jpn) 39-
37, A. Dorairaj (am-Mas) 39-37, Leith Wastle (Aus) 37-39, Vivek Bhandari
(Ind) 38-38, Satoshi Ode (Jpn) 39-37.
77 Anthony Kang (S Kor) 38-39, Aaron Meeks (US) 40-37, Thaworn
Wiratchant (Thai) 39-38, Roger Winchester (Eng) 38-39, Greg Hanrahan (US)
40-37, Oliver Edmond (Fra) 38-39, Jean Pierre Cixous (Fra) 36-41, Rahizam
Ramli (am-Mas) Chang Tse-peng (Tai) 39-38.
78 Danny Chia (Mas) 40-38, Andrew McLardy (SA) 40-38, Hsieh Yu-shu (Tai)
39-39, Peter Teravainen (US) 40-38, Mats Lanner (Swe) 41-37, John McHenry
(Ire) 41-37, Richard Boxall (Eng) 38-40.
79 Scott Henderson (Scot) 42-37, Rodrigo Cuello (Phi) 40-39, Chen Jun
(Chn) 41-38, Lu Chien-soon (Tai) 42-37, Danny Zarate (Phi) 38-41,
Shaifubari Muda (Mas) 38-41; 80 Boonchu Ruangkit (Thai) 39-41; 81 Frederik
Jacobsen (Swe) 40-41, Felix Casas (Phi) 37-44, Paisal Bee (am-Mas) 41-40;
84 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 40-44.

Rule out the newcomers, says former champ Westwood


LEE Westwood who has been playing in Malaysia for the past five years has
predicted that most of the Europeans who are first timers in Malaysia will
be dropping like flies at the Benson & Hedges Open which tees off at the
Saujana Golf and Country Club today.
"Anybody (from Europe) who has not had experience of the Malaysian
climate and the course conditions will be struggling because the humidity
is very severe while the course is very hilly," said Westwood.
"There are ways of getting around and coping with it but concentration
can wander at the best of times when it is hot. And when you get flustered
and hit some really bad shots you will get angry and lose out."
Westwood is not really concerned with what others think. It is how he
plays that matters most. The 1997 champion and last year's runner-up said
he will only do battle with the course.
"I don't bother with all the expectations on me. I don't listen to
people. I have my own goals and expectations and if I reach them I will be
His current goal is to improve his world rankings from the present No 6
which he occupies.
"That's my goal for the year - to reach No 1 If I can put together a
good run of results, especially up to the Masters, and including the
Masters, it will be a home run for me."
Westwood has never played well in the beginning of the season but in
mid-season, he is usually at his peak.
"I think confidence was the difference between winning seven times in
1998 and not doing that in 1997. The practice rounds that I have played so
far this week has been encouraging and seem to have picked off where I
left last year," said Westwood who will be making his maiden appearance
this season at the Malaysian Open.
Westwood, who was down with food poisoning when he first played in Asia,
has come a long way since and said the obvious way to play in this
temperature is to stay calm and not let the humidity get the better.

Young squad not likely to steal the thunder


WITH an average age of 23, the Malaysian hockey team on a Five-Nation
mission in Egypt are not expected to steal the thunder from Canada and
But on the same note, they are also not expected to lose to Egypt and
Malaysia beat Kenya 4-0 in the opening match of the Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games, but then, they had a more experienced team to bank on.
The team, captained by 22-year-old S. Kuhan, has only the 26-year-old
Chairil Anwar as the `veteran' of the team.
With youngsters M. Jiwa, Suhaimi Ibrahim, M. Kaliswaran and Razak Saidin
upfront, Malaysia are likely to face an uphill battle even against Kenya
and Egypt.
When the selection commiteee, chaired by Malaysian Hockey Federation
(MHF) president Sultan Azlan Shah, met to find the right combination to
lead Malaysian hockey into the next millennium, they decided on youth
power and selected 16 raw hands.
But in actual fact, they did not have much of a choice because some of
the veterans who took Malaysia into the final of the Commonwealth Games
are no longer active in hockey.
Seniors Lailin Abu Hassan, Nor Saiful Zaini and R. Shanker have retired
while others like Mirnawan Nawawi, K. Kevan Raj, Maninderjit Singh and
Nasihin Nubli had other obligations.
The player to watch at Egypt is goalkeeper Izwan Suhardi who was named
along with Roslan Jamaluddin. Izwan, 25, has only seen action three times
on the international front but was selected in place of Nasihin Nubli.
Before coach Yahya Atan took the team to Egypt, he predicted that they
would need at least 30 to 40 top class matches before a shape is found.
"The Cairo mission would be too early to judge the team since we will be
trying out various combinations but by the time the Azlan Shah Cup begins
in April, we should have a rough idea," said Yahya.
Team: M. Jiwa, Azlin Fairuz, Chua Boon Huat, K. Gobinathan, S. Kuhan
(capt), Nor Azlan Bakar, Chairil Anwar, Shaiful Azli, Madzli Ikmar,
Suhaimi Ibrahim, M. Kaliswaran, K. Logan Raj, Syayrim Uda Karim, Razak
Saidin, Izwan Suhardi, Roslan Jamaluddin.
Manager: Wallace Tan; Coach: Yahya Atan; Umpire: S. Sagayanathan.
Fixtures - Today: Canada v India, Kenya v Malaysia; Tomorrow: Egypt v
Malaysia; Feb 5: India v Egypt, Canada v Kenya; Feb 6: Canada v Malaysia;
Feb 7: Kenya v Egypt, India v Malaysia; Feb 8: Rest Day; Feb 9: Final
Classification Matches.

Chia aims to shake inconsistent tag


IF you are looking for a Malaysian to sizzle in the first round of the
US$750,000 Benson and Hedges Malaysian Open at the Saujana Golf and
Country Club, Danny Chia is your man.
But the sad part is Chia is not a consistent golfer, like at the 1998
MPGA Championship where he shot a sizzling 65 but ended up with a final
round of 10-over 82.
"I admit that my game has not been consistent but I have been working on
improving it," said Chia.
Chia sunk an eagle and six birdies on his way to a fine seven-under 65
on the opening day of the 1998 MPGA Championship at Saujana's Crocodile
Only an unexpected bogey on the par-3 12th blotted his otherwise
excellent scorecard but all the same he took a three-stroke lead over
Victor Lim.
He had a 74 in the second round but improved with a 71 in the third.
However, in the final round when it mattered most, he blew up with a 10-
over par 82 to drop to the eighth spot.
"Since then I have had similar experiences because I think too much of
the crowd and what they are thinking," said Chia.
"But that is the past because I have managed to overcome the fear of
taking the lead."
Chia has been working with Malaysian Professional Golfers Association
consultant Allan Murray to maintain his game.
If Murray is any good, there is a good chance of seeing Chia finishing
among the top 40.
P. Gunasegaran, who finished runner-up in the 1994 Malaysian Open, was
an almost there golfer at the recent Myanmar Open.
After a sizzling 66, and two rounds of 69 at the Myanmar Open, Guna blew
up with a 74 in the final round to finish 10th.
Guna refused to talk to certain members of the media yesterday, claiming
that their report on local golfers are usually not favourable.

Westwood indicates an extension


SAUJANA Golf and Country Club touring pro Lee Westwood didn't say much,
but indications are he will ink a two-year extension with SGCC.
Westwood's contract expires in March and the Saujana pro said yesterday
he would like to continue promoting the club and Malaysia.
"I have thought about extending the contract and negotiations are
underway. I have had two successful years with the club and would like to
enhance our ties," said Westwood.
Yesterday, Westwood launched the club's "Rock With Croc" campaign which
is aimed at promoting the Bunga Raya Course which has been renamed as the
Crocodile Course.
"During the promotion from Feb 8 to May 8, Saujana will dedicate every
Friday and the first Saturday of the month as open day where members of
the public can play at the 18-hole course. Green fees are RM126 nett per
person on Fridays and RM210 per person on the first Saturday of the
month," said Saujana CEO Ahmad Ramli Zakaria.
Westwood confirmed his potential as Europe's rising star last year when
he won four times on the European Tour before his big breakthrough on the
US PGA Tour by capturing the Freeport-McDermott classic before the US
When asked about the Malaysian Open, Westwood said chose not to instil
himself as favourite.
"I will play my best in the first two rounds and only after that will I
know where I stand. But the course has been good to me and I would not
mind a good push from the rest of the field to kickstart the 1999 season."
Westwood, then 23, went on to be the youngest winner of the 1997
Malaysian Open but was edged by Ed Fryatt of England last year in a
thrilling sudden-death playoff.
Last year, Westwood played in 35 tournaments but has trimmed his
commitment to 29 this season.
After the Malaysian Open this week, he will head for California for the
Andersen Consulting World Match Play.
Today, the obliging World No 8 will meet his fans at the Saujana Pan-
West Pro Shop from 10am-11am.

Johanna can't believe she won


JOHANNA Head of England still can't come to terms with the fact that she
won the Kosaido-DRB-Hicom Malaysian Women's Open at the Glenmarie Golf and
Country Club yesterday.
"I did not look at the scoreboard after the second round so I did not
know my position. And today (yesterday) when I saw that I was second
behind Ludivine Kreutz of France, I nearly fainted," said Johanna, who has
an identical twin sister.
Last year the 25-year-old did not even make the cut but yesterday she
beat Taiwan's Yu Chuan Tai and Ludivine at sudden-death after being tied
214 after regulation time.
The sudden-death, at the par-four 10th, was over in minutes as Johanna
played par for US$10,000 (RM38,000) while Yu Chuan and Ludivine fired
The Open is the first major title for Johanna who now plans to play in
Indonesia and Vietnam before returning to England.
Finalscores: 214 Johanna Head (Eng) 71-71-72 (won on sudden-death
playoff), Yu Chuan Tai (Tai) 72-70-72, Ludivine Kreutz (Fr) 69-72-73; 215
Vibeke Strensrud (Nor) 73-70-72; 217 Il Mi Chung (S Kor) 71-75-71, Loraine
Lambert (Aus) 71-74-72, Joung Youn Lee (S Kor) 71-74-72, Hyun Soon Park (S
Kor) 73-73-71; 218 Mia Lojdahl (Swe) 76-71-71, Keiko Arakaki (Jpn) 78-71-
69, Renee Heiken (US) 72-74-72, Camie Hoshino (US) 73-72-73, Akemi
Kuwashima (Jpn) 71-72-75.
219 Wendy Dicks (Eng) 73-76-70, Malin Burstrom (Swe) 68-78-73; 220
Michelle Fuller (US) 74-73-73, Stephanie Dallongv (Fr) 72-76-72, Chin Hue
Hung (Tai-Am) 74-73-73, Anna Berg (Swe) 70-76-74, Karolina Anderson (Swe)
221 Hitomi Notsu (Jpn) 76-72-73, Mika Tajiri (Jpn) 77-70-74, Lim Siew Ai
(Mas) 74-72-75.

Westwood, Saujana to renew ties


LEE WESTWOOD and Saujana Golf and Country Club are in the midst of
renewing their partnership which expires in March.
Saujana Golf Resort CEO Ahmad Ramli Zakari said yesterday that both
parties are happy with the relationship and want it to continue.
"He has made his interest known and we are keen to have the sponsorship
contract renewed," said Ramli.
The good news is that Westwood has not let a successful 1998 season get
to his head and is believed to be happy with a minimal increase in the
sponsorship. His deal with Saujana is reported to be in the region of
US$50,000 (RM190,000) a year.
Westwood's earlier deal with the Club requires him to wear the club
insignia on his sleeve and on his golfing bag, the words Visit Malaysia
are boldly displayed.
"He will be here tomorrow to promote some products that Saujana will be
launching and to conduct a clinic with junior golfers. We will pursue the
matter further," he said.
Westwood, the world No 8 and No 3 golfer on the European Order of Merit,
made his name after winning the Malaysian Open in 1997.
Tomorrow, he will witness a change in Saujana - the Bunga Raya course
will be renamed as The Crocodile course.
Yesterday, Saujana extended their help to the Malaysian PGA by adopting
two of their pros for two years.
Rashid Ismail, ranked seventh on the MPGA Order Of Merit last year and
Shaifubari Muda, ranked ninth, will each be sponsored by Saujana to the
tune of RM40,000 a year.
"This adopt-a-pro programme will run for two years and hopefully, the
duo will be able to concentrate on their game now that they have a steady
income," said Ramli.
Other than unlimited use of the Saujana greens, the pros will also
receive equipment and attire.
"We hope to be able to stand on our own feet after the two-year duration
and would like to call upon other clubs to extend similar help to develop
a good pool of players in the country," said Rashid, who turned pro in
The deal also stipulates that the duo can keep all their winnings.

Malin storms to an early lead


MALIN BURSTROM fired a four-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead after the
opening round of the Malaysian Women's Open golf championship at the
Glenmarie Golf and Country Club course yesterday.
The Swede, who has been a regular at the Open since 1993, had birdies at
the eighth and ninth and sank three more birdies at the 16th, 17th and
18th holes.
Last year, Malin carded 75 in the first round and finished the
tournament buried at the bottom with a three-day total of 218.
Since 1993, she has never come close in the top 20 bracket.
France's Ludivine Kreutz trails Malin on 69 while Anna Berg of Sweden is
a further stroke back in third place.
Pre-tournamet favourite Chung Il Mi of South Korea is bunched with six
other players on 71 while Malaysian hope Lim Siew Ai had a poor 74.
Scores (1st rd): 68 Malin Burstrom (Swe) 35-33; 69 Ludivine Kreutz (Fra)
35-34; 70 Anna Berg (Swe) 34-36; 71 Loraine Lambart (Aust) 36-35 Johanna
Head (Eng) 35-36, Eri Kawakami (Jpn) 35-36, Akemi Kuwashima (Jpn) 36-35,
Kiyo Yamamura (Jpn) 35-36, Chung Il Mi (S Kor) 35-36, Joung Youn Lee (S
Kor) 34-37; 72 Stephanie Dallongv (Fra) 36-36, Yu Chuan Tai (US) 34-38,
Renee Heiken (US) 34-38.
73 Wendy Dicks (Eng) 37-36, Hee Jung Park (S Kor) 37-36, Hyun Soon Park
(S Kor) 35-38, Vibeke Stensrud (Nor) 36-37, Karolina Anderson (Swe) 35-38,
Camie Hoshino (US) 37-36;
74 Alison Munt (Aust) 39-35, Rei Ito (Jpn) 38-36, Fumi Doi (Jpn) 37-37,
Momoyo Yamazaki (Jpn) 40-34, Lim Siew Ai (Mas) 36-38.

Fewer Euros makes it easier for Asians


THE US$750,000 Benson and Hedges Malaysian Open will only feature five of
the top 20 European players at Saujana Golf and Country Club.
This must certainly be good news for the Asian pros who are gunning for
the ticket to play in the European PGA Tour.
Asian PGA executive director Ramlan Harun had announced that any Asian
player who wins the tournament will get a two-year exemption to the
European PGA Tour.
He will receive playing rights for the remainder of the 1999 season and
bypass the gruelling qualifying school for 2000 and 2001.
The five European Order of Merit golfers confirmed fer the Open starting
next Thursday are Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (No 2), Lee Westwood of
England (No 3), Andrew Coltart of Scotland (No 9), Sam Torrance of
Scotland (No 14) and Robert Karlson of Sweden (No 17).
"The entries close tomorrow (today) and to date, we have not received
any new entries from Europe," said a member of the organising committee
The leading Asian players are Kang Wook-Soon of South Korea, top money
winner on last year's Asian PGA circuit, and Japanese Tour regulars
Frankie Minoza of the Philippines and Myanmar's Zaw Moe.
China's No 1 Zhang Lianwei and Thai stars Pryad Marksaeng and Chawalit
Plaphol are also capable of winning the Open.
Although the prize money has been increased, with this year's winner
taking home US$121,125, it has failed to attract big names like Scotland's
Colin Montgomerie and South African Ernie Els.
Last year winner's purse was only US$30,000 and the star attractions
were three members of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team - Westwood,
Clarke and Thomas Bjorn of Denmark.
But Asian specialist Ed Fryatt of England eventually pipped Westwood to
the trophy.
In the absence of the big names, India's Jeev Milkha Singh, who finished
joint second with American Scott Dunlap at the recent South African Open,
Asian PGA stalwarts Fran Quinn of the US and South African Nico van
Rensburg, who finished in the top 10 bracket in the South African PGA, are
also in with a chance to win.

Chairil declines armband


THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) yesterday named 16 players for the
five-nation tournament in Cairo on Feb 2-9. But the surprise was when
Chairil Anwar declined to captain the team.
With youngsters Jiwa Moham, Suhaimi Ibrahim, M. Kaliswaran and Razak
Saidin upfront, Malaysia are likely to face an uphill battle against
Canada, Kenya, Egypt and India.
"The selection committee agreed to include the juniors for exposure,"
said MHF deputy president Datuk Seri P. Alagendra.
Yesterday, MHF president Sultan Azlan Shah was at the National Hockey
Stadium to witness a friendly between the Egypt-bound squad and Project
2001, who will be heading for a tour of Perth on Feb 3-14.
To some extent, MHF were left with no choice when they named a
relatively young side as seniors like Lailin Abu Hassan, Nor Saiful Zaini
and R. Shanker have retired while others like Mirnawan Nawawi, K. Kevan
Raj, Maninderjit Singh and Nasihin Nubli had other obligations.
Chairil, 26, the oldest player in the team, refused to be skipper as he
felt his game would be affected. Instead, 22-year-old S. Kuhan will now
wear the armband.
Izwan Suhardi was named goalkeeper along with Roslan Jamaluddin.
Alagendra said the two teams will re-group after their assignments and
the best of the 50 trainees will be picked for an eight-nation tournament
in Dubai in March.
After Perth, Project 2001 will play four friendlies against the touring
Western Australian Institute of Sports (WAIS) team.
"We have arranged for the friendlies in Ipoh, Penang and Kuala Lumpur on
March 1-6 and five players from the Cairo five-nation squad will return to
the Project squad for the friendlies."
The five are Jiwa Mohan, Chua Boon Huat, Madzli Ikmar, K. Logan Raj and
Syayrim Uda Karim.
Senior squad: Jiwa Mohan, Azlin Fairuz, Chua Boon Huat, K. Gobinathan,
S. Kuhan (capt), Nor Azlan Bakar, Chairil Anwar, Shaiful Azli, Madzli
Ikmar, Suhaimi Ibrahim, M. Kaliswaran, K. Logan Raj, Syayrim Uda Karim,
Razak Saidin, Izwan Suhardi (gk), Roslan Jamaluddin (gk).
Officials - Manager: Wallace Tan; coach: Yahya Atan; umpire: S.
Junior squad: Saiful Azhar (gk), Mohamed Khuzmer (gk), Adrian Richard
Doss, Shahzan Amir, Mohamed Amin, Fadzli Anuar, Shankar Shanmugam, Nor
Effandy Ramli, Redzuan Ponirin, Nor Azlan Rahim, V. Vinodhan, Razilee
Yahya, Shahrul Syawal, Zahirin Zakaria, Indra Hadi, Faizal Daud, Shahrizal
Zainal Abidin, Mohamed Fairuz.
Team officials - Manager-coach: Colin Sta Maria; asst coach: Zulkifli